17 March 2012

Two views of Santo Domingo

We already went two times to Santo Domingo. The first time we had to go to the US Consulate to apply for the visa to Puerto Rico. They have strict rules: no cameras, no cellphones, no cigarettes etc. I really felt naked walking around without my camera! Marco enjoyed it as he didn't have to wait for me all the time as usual... Today we went back and I finally got my chance to snap some impressions.

We first strolled through la Zona Colonial - a section of the city with origin dating back to the 16th century and first settlement made by Christopher Columbus and the Spanish explorers of the New World. It's been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, lined with beautiful old buildings (some of them nicely renovated, others almost falling apart but I found them even more charming) and cobblestone streets. Of course there are the typical tourist shops but also some nice caf├ęs. While we had a delicious lunch and the oblicatory Presidente beer in Calle El Conde we could watch people walking by. Better than TV, I tell you!

Then we took a taxi to the area where the busstation to Boca Chica is located at (parada Boca Chica). In this part of Santo Domingo you don't see many tourists. Besides the common stores and supermarkets the streets are filled with booth where everything from fruits, veggies, matches, shoes, cellphones and a haircut get offered for sale. You see young mothers with their babies sleeping on their shoulders, little boys playing with their kites, teenagers chatting while sharing a beer, men sitting together and playing domino, women getting their hair done in the street, homeless rummaging in trash cans for food or drinks and everywhere straying, filthy dogs. It's a hustle and bustle, noisy and dirty - but that's where you see how the majority of the Dominican live. A real, uncensored picture.
From paradise, with love

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